1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial PorterVictory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

4,817 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,817
Reviews: 1,075
rAvg: 4.4
pDev: 8.86%
Wants: 885
Gots: 1,158 | FT: 89
Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: radshoesbro on 03-17-2009

Our Victory at Sea Imperial Porter is a bold, smooth brew with just the right amount of sweetness. We infused this robust porter with whole vanilla beans and San Diego’s own Caffe Calabria coffee beans. The subtle roasted notes and minimal acidity of the cold brewed coffee, balances perfectly with the sweet caramel undertones of the malt, creating a winning combination for your palate.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,817 | Reviews: 1,075 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bearman13
4.04/5  rDev -8.2%

Photo of BigMurph
4.04/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours black, with a full-finger light brown head.

S: Great smell of roasted coffee beans

T: The mix of coffee and roasted malt is real nice here. Has excellent dark chocolate notes.

M: Smooth and full-bodied, it hides it's 10% and you'll feel it by the end.

O: Very good but not as good as I was hoping.

Serving type: bottle

Photo of vutoq
4.04/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Goldfishman
4.04/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Northtexan
4.04/5  rDev -8.2%

Photo of Yeheshua
4.04/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of vkv822
4.04/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz : tulip

Pours black with a foamy light brown head.

Aroma and taste are roasty coffee and cocoa, with lightly sweet, rich vanilla notes upfront.

Medium body, lightly viscous, mild carbonation.

A very well done Imperial Porter. Rich flavors, without becoming decadent.

Photo of doldham
4.04/5  rDev -8.2%

Photo of DeanPoudrier
4.04/5  rDev -8.2%

Photo of Merks
4.04/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Onenote81
4.04/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to steve8robin for this bottle recently!

Poured into a standard pint glass. Pours a very dark black with a thin tan head on top. Spotty lace rings stick to the glass. The nose is full of ground coffee, roasted malts, vanilla, cream, chocolate. Coffee is the obvious main-player here.

The mouth is full and creamy. Alcohol definitely smooths this one out. The coffee comes through in the flavor with a punch. Nice dark roasted bitterness to start things off. But the vanilla commands a presence as well. Plenty of creamy sweetness to balance this one out well. Sweet finish with a melding of alcohol, vanilla, and milk chocolate. I've had this one on my wants for quite some time, so I'm glad to finally knock this one off. Excellent Porter.

Photo of bhyndthebottle
4.04/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served from Bottle into a snifter glass.

Appearance: Pour a nice thick head that dissipates into a nice cap that remains through tasting.

Smell: This is where I pick up most of the character of this beer. Vanilla and Coffee are first to meet the senses, with a slight hint of booze. Chocolate comes in as well, but only to a minimum.

Taste: Somewhat looses it here. Noticed a majority of the vanilla in the mid palate, with a coffee finish, but neither to an extreme. Was expecting more of a wow factor here, but both flavors match each other nicely. Well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Good medium body feel to it, with appropriate carbonation. The only problem comes in as the glass warms, you get a definite sense of the 10%. Was expecting a little smoother warmth from Ballast Point.

Overall: A good imperial porter, but for the money, I was expecting a little more wow factor. This is one that I will definitely recommend, and it is a good effort, but I think that it could have come across a little more aggressively on some of the flavors.Still though, another very good beer by Ballast Point

Photo of Bradaplast
4.04/5  rDev -8.2%

Photo of moodyxc9
4.05/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.05/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I would say this beer would be perfect first beer on a Saturday or Sunday morning tailgating.
Pours a dark dark brown, almost black. Off tan head is medium in size, looks a touch soapy.

Aroma is what makes me think of mornings. Coffee and roasted malt, like dark toast. Hints of vanilla smooth it out and calm down the roastiness.

Yum. Good flavors. Vanilla and coffee blend nicely with the coffee taking the upper hand. Dark roast and rich. Sweetness is halted by the warming alcohol, which would make drinking two or these a chore, but fun.
Smooth feel to it. Gimmie some pork and beans, grilled on an open flame with this stuff.
very nice.

Photo of Retsinis
4.05/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Bruery Tulip glass.

Pours a deep, rich black, with brown highlights when held to the light. Less than an inch of head, that fades to a light lacing that sits on top, and sticks to the side of the glass.

Smell is of vanilla, roasted coffee, burnt brown sugar, and a tinge of bitter hops, but comes across more as bitter coffee.

Taste follows the nose, coffee, vanilla, some tobacco, dark chocolate ( like 70% dark chocolate)

Mouth feel is a bit creamy, but doesn't linger on the palate. Heat of the 10% is well masked, but comes through more once it warms up.

Overall, one of the top coffee porters. The 2010 seems a bit too balanced in contrast to previous years, with the flavors melding to a point of masking what is a complex beer. Having sampled various variety's, the barrel aged tap version is delicious, as was last year's fresh, (Also aged last years for a year, vanialla comes through a lot, coffee fades quite a bit, was still present though) but last years cask version with Rum chips takes the prize.

Recommended in any variant though, great seasonal.

Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.05/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Been hoping for this since Texas finally got Ballast Point this summer.

It pours out dark with a creamy fluffy cloud of a lightly browned head.

The aroma definitely tells you that there is coffee in this. Sweet milk chocolate and vanilla. Light roast and dark fruit notes. Everything is under the prevalent coffee aroma.

Coffee, roast, and alcohol are balanced a bit by the sweeter vanilla and chocolate flavors. The roasty coffee profile of the beer again exerts its dominance on this beer in the flavor department.

Has a big creamy silky smooth mouthfeel.

Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.05/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at 'The Hopping Pig' in San Diego.
Pitch black with half a fingers worth of dark tan colored head that dissipated to a thin film.
Lots of roasted malt, coffee, vanilla and some cocoa notes coming through.
Aroma is translated almost completely to the taste. Lots of roasted malt, coffee notes. However, the vanilla comes through more in the taste than the aroma. There is a very good balance between the coffee and vanilla.
Very good mouthfeel and damn tasty beer.
Definitely worth a try and comes highly recommended.

Photo of MaximalC
4.05/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours seal brown with the barest of ruby highlights, topped by a modest head of mocha foam that settles shortly into a thin veil. A persistent sheet of lacing clings to the glass as the beer descends. The aroma features HUGE roasted coffee notes with traces of dark chocolate and vanilla. The flavor matches the nose, with a massive kick of roasted coffee that lingers indefinitely. This is not the watered down coffee adjunct that so commonly passes for "coffee flavor" in beer--this is the real deal. There's also a noticeable alcoholic burn on the front end, which is unorthodox but not shocking considering the ABV, though it's tolerable for the style. Some dark chocolate can be found lurking beneath the charred, roasted foreground, but vanilla doesn't feature as prominently as the label would suggest. A slightly peppery hop bite accentuates the bitterness of the roasted malt on the back end. I can't wait for this to warm up and really see what it can do*. The body is medium and complements the flavor profile well, while the carbonation is appropriately modest.

This is not an especially nuanced brew, but if you're looking for something bold with an authentic, deluxe coffee character, you've come to the right place.

*Warming does indeed reveal some subtle dark fruit that was close to invisible at cooler temperatures.

Photo of Eriktheipaman
4.05/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a complete black. Very nice brown head and it amazingly thickens up and stays with the brew considering its at 10% abv.

The smell is of fresh ground coffee, chocolate, and slight vanilla.

I cant pick any vanilla up in the taste. The taste is mostly of coffee and to me it overpowers the aftertaste just a tad.

The mouthfeel is very thick so this isnt a beer you could drink a lot of, and at 10% thats not always a bad thing.

A great beer overall but personally not my favorite. Worth trying for sure though.

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.05/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer pours a jet black with 1/2 an inch of a creamy tan head that laces and dissipates into a thin chocolate covering. the nose is chocolatey with bits of vanilla sweetness. the taste is rich & full bodied, malty & roasty with great chocolate sweetness. Initially it's very sweet and slightly warming, but finishes with a heavy burnt roasty and bitterness. this is a really tasty beer, great price and availability in wny, drinks more like a stout though

Photo of JohnQVegas
4.05/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into snifter. Tasting notes from 45 degrees and up.

Pours pitch black, almost no brown showing through anywhere other than the very edges, a nice , dense one-finger light-brown head. Nice stickage, impressive lacing. After the head disappears, a few swirls are all that's needed to resurrect it.

Nose is big on espresso; robust, rich, and full, with an underlying vanilla/smooth dark chocolate sweetness. Not a bit of acidity. Wow, really nice.

Taste is pretty unique. It pretty much throws everything at you right from the beginning - big roasty espresso, loads of vanilla, and some dark, dark chocolate underneath. There's definitely a dichotomy hear between the fairly sharp, roasty bitterness and the big sweet vanilla note, with the vanilla pulling ahead around mid-palate and the espresso roaring back to dominate the long, dry, moderately bitter roasty finish. Bit boozey.

Mouthfeel is smooth, full bodied, with a crisp but reserved carbonation.

Drinkability is ok. This is definitely an "extreme" beer, in that all the flavor notes are really huge and kind of battle it out for dominance instead of syncing up and trying to work with each other. A hair less vanilla and a bit less on the bitterness scale and this one would work quite a bit better. As it is now, it's a nice beer, but it really takes no prisoners.

Photo of krisandajt
4.05/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A gentle pour from the bottle, the beer is black, dark and viscous. There is virtually no head atop this brew, only a thin ring of coffee colored foam where the beer meets the glass.

Smell: Nice roasted quality with some chocolate and coffee mixed in. I've been sitting on this one for a while, I get the impression the coffee has faded somewhat. Still, smells very good.

Taste: Some nice hints of vanilla, I really didn't get much of it in the nose so it's a bit of a surprise. The roasted quality isn't as pronounced as it was in the nose. Sweet, milk chocolate. Everything is pretty well balanced. Not getting much coffee, but again I think that's the result of the beer sitting down in my cellar.

Mouthfeel: Nice medium body, good carbonation. Very easy drinking beer given its potency.

Drinkability: A fine drinking porter perfect for a cold night like tonight. My one gripe is that I should have opened this one up sooner. I'd like to try it fresher and see if the coffee comes through more. Still, I'm enjoying it and I would recommend it to anybody.

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.05/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Virtually black, with a sticky, thin layer of irregular bubbles on top. Looks strong.

S - Apple skin to black chocolate with cane sugar. Notes of alcohol and dark, rich sweetness. Maybe some steamed milk.

T - An assertive flavor profile with heavy coffee presence. Not much in the way of vanilla. There is a sweetness in the middle, but the strength of the coffee takes over. The 10% ABV is present; too strong for the rich flavors to mask.

M - Rich and strong, like a cappuccino. This beer is very sturdy and dry.

O - A hearty brew, but not sure this is a porter. This one seems like a coffee stout more or less.

Photo of JC333
4.06/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am re reviewing this because I thought maybe I was a bit to hard on it the first time.

I think I feel the same, coffee aroma overpowers and I am not getting vanilla. I do think it feels way too thin.

Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 4,817 ratings.